SAN DIEGO -- University of California San Diego Extension will partner with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) to offer a unique, accelerated safety certification program with an emphasis on hands-on training, including a job internship.

An intensive, three-month course that starts on July 13, 2015, the Safety Specialist Professional Certificate program is taught by a team of safety specialists and teaches skills that are in high demand in the construction and general industries, according to experts.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for occupational safety and health specialists will grow at 9 percent through 2020, and 13 percent for occupational safety and health technicians.

Combining top-quality UCSD class instruction with hands-on training at the ABC training facility in Poway, Calif., the course is designed for individuals who want to gain skills and get an immersion into safety requirements in the general and building industry.

Each topic will be covered in the classroom as well as in a skills lab where, for example, rigging will be demonstrated and students will learn the proper use of fall protection equipment. Scaffolding will be brought into the lab and erected, and course participants will also learn to calibrate and use air sampling machines, among other Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) protocols.

The program offers an entry-level certificate to bolster their resumes, together with a three-week internship that "will give students a taste of the on-the-job experience and expose their skills to national companies who are looking to hire," says Bob Harrell, a safety consultant who serves as a lead instructor. The internships will be paid and there is the possibility, though no guarantee, that part- or full-time employment could subsequently be offered.

A week within the course is devoted to leadership education.

"Partnering so closely with ABC insures that we tailor the instruction to the needs of employers, who report that leadership and communication with workers and upper management are the most valuable skills on the job," Harrell says.

A learning community among students, UC San Diego Extension and ABC professionals will be established so that certificate holders can access tutoring and consult on resume writing and prospective job opportunities.

The fee for the program is $8,500. Students are responsible for their own housing during the program as well as for travel expenses to/from the internship. Applications are now being accepted. Get application information and learn more about all UC San Diego Extension's safety certification programs here, or call (858) 534-9272.

Eligible students may utilize their VA educational benefits for this approved certificate program. Veterans, veteran dependents, and others eligible for veterans' education programs should determine their benefits and obtain authorization with the Department of VA prior to enrolling. Veterans are encouraged to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any additional questions.

As the continuing education and public programs arm of the university, UC San Diego Extension educates approximately 63,000 enrollees a year, which translates to about 32,000 students in nearly 4,600 courses.  UC San Diego Extension is recognized nationally and internationally for linking the public to expert professionals and the knowledge resources of the University of California.

Founded in 1950, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 70 chapters representing 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with nearly two million employees. ABC's membership represents all specialties within the United States construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors of the industry. 

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